Viewing potential new houses can be an exciting, daunting and tedious time all rolled into one. Choosing a home is one of the most important – and no doubt expensive – things you will ever do, so it’s essential to ensure sure you make the right decision.
Everyone talks about just ‘getting that feeling’ when you walk through the door of a property and knowing immediately if it is the place for you. But it’s not all about the good vibes.
I would always recommend that you look at an on-line map initially to understand where the house is situated. You can often look at the house at street level which allows you to pan around to see what the location is like.
Photographs can be very deceptive and you can easily miss the fact the house is on the corner of a busy road or next door to the local pub.
I would always advise people to ask the vendor lots of questions to understand why they are moving and to ask about the local community or anything you have noticed about the house you would like to know. They will give you a good understanding of the house and the area.
If you love the house do arrange another viewing at a different time of day and go back with a more practical view and try to notice things that you may have missed in your enthusiasm, like damp patches on the ceiling. Have a more thorough look and try to view with someone else as they will see things you don’t.
Here are Jo’s top tips for viewing a potential new home:
- Take your time. Take another look around again while you are there, without the agent, to remind yourself of where things are.
- Take photos. Check with the agent first, but most will allow this. It’s a great reminder of what you have seen so you can compare with other properties on your final shortlist.
- If you like the house try to visit it at a different time of day. You will be amazed how different a house can be at the end of the day when everyone is home from work and you can’t suddenly park your car anywhere.
- Consider the aspect of the property. Where does the sun rise? Will the garden have evening sun?
- Look at the storage. Will you need to buy wardrobes for example – it all adds up as extra costs.
- If there is a garden, look out and see what is surrounding you. Are you overlooked?Are there any noise hazards? Is there a secure fence?
- Try to look beyond the decor and the owner’s furniture. However amazing it may look, try to imagine your furniture in the house. Will it fit? You may have a house with high ceilings and be looking at a cosy low beamed cottage that your favourite piece of furniture will never fit into; can you live without it?
Always remember that a house is likely to be the most expensive purchase you will ever make. It will be very costly if you get it wrong, so take Jo’s advice at the viewings and feel assured that you will pick the perfect property.